Oppose trade authority for Obama on Pacific trade deal

May 12, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the U.S. Senate to reject granting trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“Fast tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership that includes language making it a ‘living’ agreement is dangerous as it could lead to a permanent ceding of the Senate’s authority to ratify treaties. The push to pass fast track is not about free trade, it is about power. It is about whether Congress trusts President Obama to rewrite the regulatory rules for the world. If you don’t trust Obama, or if you believe the Senate’s two-thirds treaty ratification power should be preserved, you should vote no.”


Republican/Conservative Leaders Lining up against Fast Track

Senator Jeff Sessions – “A USTR outline of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (which TPA would expedite) notes in the “Key Features” summary that the TPP is a “living agreement.” This means the President could update the agreement “as appropriate to address trade issues that emerge in the future as well as new issues that arise with the expansion of the agreement to include new countries.” The “living agreement” provision means that participating nations could both add countries to the TPP without Congress’ approval (like China), and could also change any of the terms of the agreement, including in controversial areas such as the entry of foreign workers and foreign employees. Again: these changes would not be subject to congressional approval.”

“This has far-reaching implications: the Congressional Research Service reports that if the United States signs on to an international trade agreement, the implementing legislation of that trade agreement (as a law passed later in time) would supersede conflicting federal, state, and local laws. When this occurs, U.S. workers may be subject to a sudden change in tariffs, regulations, or dispute resolution proceedings in international tribunals outside the U.S.”

“Promoters of TPA should explain why the American people ought to trust the Administration and its foreign partners to revise or rewrite international agreements, or add new members to those agreements, without congressional approval. Does this not represent an abdication of congressional authority?”

Carly Fiorina, former CEO and current candidate for President – “The devil is usually in the details. That’s particularly true with this president. We don’t know what’s in this deal. We know we have trading partners who have violated agreements in trade deals, China being one of them. I think it’s important to understand some of the fine print of this deal. for example, is China allowed to join this pacific trading agreement later on in a couple of years, yes or no? This is being sold as an opportunity for America to strengthen its lead and partnerships in the Asia Pacific region. I agree with that goal. On the other hand, if the truth is in these details China gets to join later, what are we doing here? I think the point is not free trade is bad. Free trade is good for this nation. I think the point is, what exactly is in this agreement? This administration, unfortunately, has a track record of burying things in fine print, whether it’s the Iran nuclear deal or Obamacare or maybe this agreement that turn out to be very different from their selling points.”

Donald Trump, real estate CEO- “Yet again, the politicians are allowing our president to reinforce the lack of respect countries like China and Japan now have for the United States. They will devalue their currency, exploit our trade agreements, continue to destroy our economy and put Americans out of work. Politicians are all talk and no action. Instead of fast tracking TPP, Congress should pass legislation that holds China and Japan accountable for currency manipulation. This would send a message to the world that there are consequences for cheating the United States. It’s time for action. It’s time to Make America Great Again!”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal – “I’m for free trade. I’m for free trade agreements. Also:   I’m for presidents in both parties having fast track authority on free trade agreements. But I am not for giving more authority to a president who ignores the Constitution, the separation of powers, and will of the American people. This particular President must not be given any more power to do anything else to harm this country. He cannot be trusted. That’s why Congress needs to find a way to maintain oversight of the Obama Administration – the current deal doesn’t do that.”

Senator Rand Paul – “I’ve told leadership I’m a ‘no’ vote on trade promotion authority, I’m hesitant to give blanket authority on stuff we haven’t seen.”

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee – ”We don’t create good jobs for Americans by entering into unbalanced trade deals that forego congressional scrutiny, and then looking the other way as the law is ignored so that we can import low-wage labor, undercut American workers, and drive wages lower than the Dead Sea.”

Brent Bozell – “There is no way that Congress should trust President Obama with the enormous grant of constitutional authority that Trade Promotion Authority or ‘fast track’ represents, and it would be the height of insanity to reward Obama’s abuse of power over the past six years by giving him the pathway to rewrite the economic rules for the world. Any treaty Obama signs should be subjected to the full scrutiny demanded by the U.S. Constitution, that is why Congress should reject giving this President fast track trade authority.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.